Alton Towers has revealed that its much-delayed new roller coaster, The Smiler, will now miss its scheduled opening date of May 23, 2013.
The announcement of the delay, which comes just 24 hours before The Smiler was due to open to the public, came via the official Alton Towers Facebook page. The park has blamed the delay on "teething problems" with the new coaster, which was originally due to open in March.
Guests with pre-booked tickets for May 23 who opt to wait until The Smiler is open before visiting Alton Towers will be able to use them on any other day during the 2013 season. Those who have made on-site hotel bookings will also be able to rearrange them free of charge by calling 0871 2221100.
Alton Towers still hopes to open The Smiler this weekend, but has advised fans to keep an eye on a decidated page on its website for news on whether the ride will be up-and-running.
The Smiler's media preview day took place last weekend, during which it suffered from a widely-publicised 30-minute breakdown. Such issues are not uncommon for new roller coasters, but the extra delay to the ride's opening date will still come as a blow to the park.
The Smiler, which had previously been known by its codename of "SW7", has been installed at a cost of some £18 million. Its circuit features two lift hills and a record-breaking 14 inversions, and is located alongside the existing Oblivion roller coaster in the X-Sector area.
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